Sunday, 2 August 2015


In our house, growing up, there was always ... and I do mean ALWAYS ... a bowl of applesauce on the counter or in the fridge as it was my father's 'daily bread' so to speak. 

And so this week ... 

Nothing beats wet weather better than turning on the oven and baking a cake.  I was telling my neighbour that this Applesauce Cake that I decided to make was a real standby of my mother's; nothing reminded me more of her kitchen than the smell of cinnamon and other spices as the cake was baking.

I had a little 2 year old helper.  Harriet just loves to be busy and nothing kept as busy as playing with a cloth and a squeezy bottle of washing up liquid!                              

The sun came out for a few hours at mid-day and for most of the afternoon.

And the finished product, that is, what was left of it. Tonight it was cold; we had the fire on as it feels more like October than July!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


Baby Ellie is now 6.5 months old.  She's a bright wee person who is now just about crawling. Here are some photos taken today and earlier last week.

Friday, 24 July 2015


I like growing herbs and this year I am having great success with them.  The nice man in the garden centre at Anniesland Cross said that the trick is to keep trimming them.  I regularly gather great handfuls of bits cut off from various plants and, not using them, put them in a big bowl on the window ledge.
This is bergamot.  I don't know the species however the genus is Mondara. 

I offer these 2 photos as my MONDARA MEASUREMENT of weather:


This photo was taken in what be described as 'normal' cloudy conditions.  It shows droplets of water on the plastic garden table cover.  The rain comes, and it goes and then it comes again mainly in the form of showers which can sometimes be heavy. 

But wait for it .... a minute later .... 


Thursday, 23 July 2015


I came across this topic today.  It is about new technology for the dentist.  This company, Reminova,  has developed a revolutionary technology that could mean the end of dental filling, injections, and drilling.   [].

This British firm is bidding to consign dental drilling and filling to the medical history books by launching an equity crowdfunding campaign today (Wednesday 22 July 2015). King’s College London spin-out company, Reminova, wants £500,000 from UK and US individuals.

The Glasgow Herald today states:
"[The] Perth-based Reminova, a spin-out from King’s College London, has developed what it says is a pain-free treatment which reverses and repairs early-stage tooth decay."

[King's College description] states that the process is to re-build the tooth and heals it without the need for drills, needles or amalgam. By accelerating the natural process by which calcium and phosphate minerals re-enter the tooth to repair a defect, the device boosts the tooth’s natural repair process.

[Herald continues] "The device uses electrical pulses to restore growth to natural tooth enamel – a process called remineralisation. 

The developers are appealing to investors to get behind the company through what is believed to be the first equity crowdfunding campaign to be run simultaneously in the UK and the US."


It seems very exciting as I would imagine that it would be well supported as dentists whose practices are small businesses would be in a good position to invest.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Iain is heading off for the boat this morning.  He will collecting 2 friends en route to Plockton where they are going to have a week or so sailing.

I was eating my breakfast of peanut butter on toast (actually peanut butter and banana but leave that for the moment) when I said to him "This is a joke ... OK?  A JOKE [I have to kind of spell it out when I tell jokes}: Tell Andrew [his friend] that I offered to send along some peanut butter for him to have on board but that you declined my offer." I added "I'd love you to do it just so you would have to listen to the diatribe!" ...

to which Iain responded laughing,  "Oh, I get it ... you make joke and I get the diatribe!"

In my nearly 50 years of living in the UK I can honestly say that 99% of the people I know (and remember I am talking about folk born 1930 and 1940s when there was rationing until 1950s)who do not only dislike peanut butter but positively HATE it!  I fear to mention the word, much less offer it to eat, for fear of opening the sluices starting a verbal Niagara Falls!

Ishie and I made jam yesterday.  It was good fun.  She had the job of using the scales to weigh correct amounts of fruit and sugar. (She loves working with numbers.)

She asked me to take this photo:    Snow on Strawberries

For a break we walked down to the new Waitrose supermarket and treated ourselves to hot chocolate and a cupcake in the lovely, brand new cafe.  Great fun!  Energized we returned to pour the hot jam into the jars.   (Today, I find the set is not as good as I had hoped but ... as Ishie and I say when things don't go to plan. "Och, well...nobody will ever notice."


Sunday, 19 July 2015



A strange sound from the other side of the fence prompted me to investigate.  My lovely neighbour, Mrs K,  was at the back door keening ... by that I mean moaning, wailing, clearly upset; not shouting out for Help or sobbing with tears.

 She had been electrocuted and was still alive to tell the tale. 

In her 80s, she had been cleaning a cupboard under the sink and decided to put the plug to the washing machine from its given place in the socket to the adjacent one.  What she did not know was that it then made the washing machine live due to faulty wiring/plug. When she went to take wet clothes out of the washing machine she got a jolt through her body down to her feet.

She was OK. Eventually we sorted everything out with Iain coming over to pull the plug etc.  Clearly things are a bit old in the house as must be the case in many houses of elderly people.

Her husband (these are his begonias) berated her for being .... you can imagine the rest!  He called the ambulance a bit later who found she was OK and then departed.

But it gave me a wake-up call about what number(s) to call and under what circumstances.  (It also made be appreciate the NHS and its emergency services!)

 * * * * *      WHAT EMERGENCY NUMBER TO USE     * * * * * *

999 for any or all emergencies.  They will deal with it if you have something that needs redirected because it is "less urgent".

Is EXACTLY THE SAME but applies to ALL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES (of which the UK is one) and neither has priority over the other.

   * * * * * *   HOWEVER  * * * * * *

Call 111 if  you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency or if you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service or if you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call.

POLICE - report a burglary, stolen car, public disturbance etc


REFERENCE:  This website explains it very clearly and also clears up misleading information:

Friday, 17 July 2015


The Shipping Forecast is the final item broadcast at 0048 hours on BBC Radio before it signs off for the day.  I have always like its 9 minute monologue  starting "Attention All Shipping" for (1) its regularity; to me it's a ritual that let's me know all is right with the world no especially when I am listening to it outside the UK, and (2) its theme tune 'Sailing By' composed by Ronald Binge.

Seol-na-mara in the late 80s having a close inspection of Fastnet Rock. That is me in the red jacket on the foredeck.

This poem was mentioned on a radio programme today.  It is by Carol Ann Duffy, the nation's Poet Laureate.  In the last stanza she has articulated the very thing I always felt about the Shipping Forecast!


Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

  Seol-na-mara a few years ago in Lerwick harbour.

From BBC archives it mentions that she was once asked if she thinks poetry 'to some extent takes the place of religion' in a secular society. She replied, 'It does for me: I don't believe in God.' Her sonnet 'Prayer' is the voice of that secular spirituality.